I got a bit McCannecdotal on this one girl last week who had e-mailed me from the dating website. It was entirely her fault, she asked me about 6 questions, and I had various stories related to each. AND she was Polish. I couldn’t help myself. I jotted down some answers in as brief a way as I could and then after I’d sent it I realised that it was the biggest e-mail I’ve ever written on one of these sites.
I knew I was in trouble because one of the “rules” of online dating that I’d read about was that you shouldn’t write too much, and that people don’t like reading long e-mails. As someone who likes to write I find this constant aversion people have to reading internet things to be baffling. People read fucking books right? But if I write a long e-mail, whether it’s personal or work, people are like “oh I don’t have time to read that, it’s like 6 paragraphs. Oh my God how did you find the time to write that, it must have taken all day!” No it fucking didn’t I can type 55 words per minute and I can think faster than I type so go figure it out!
Imagine if I went on a date, and after we’d said hello and I asked her how her day was, I just fucked off. “Sorry love I can’t stick around I’m too busy, where do find the time to spend a whole evening with someone, I can only spare a couple of sentences I’m just too busy.”
In my working life too, “Oh I’m just too busy to read an e-mail that long. Seriously where do find the time to write all those paragraphs of text. Let’s go through it in a meeting tomorrow, from 10 till 11.” Um, no, why don’t you sit in front of your fucking computer tomorrow at 10 and read my e-mail, and then we can discuss it at 5 past, and that’s allowing time for you to look up some of the big words I used.
It was clear from her reply that this Polish was not fond of my large multi-paragraph e-mail, which I had clearly spend many months writing. She began with “thank you for your long and interesting e-mail”. OK well I could tell from the sound of that she wasn’t happy. There was a paragraph of pleasantries and she answered the courtesy question I put at the end of my list of anecdotes, but crucially she didn’t (or daren’t) ask me any more.
She then said “Have a good week.”
It was a Monday. That basically meant, I don’t want to hear from you again.
This is something I will struggle with if I really want to make an effort with online dating. Especially since the one person I have ever met from online dating (and this was about 5 years ago) was Holly, and before meeting me and her exchanged a lot of long e-mails getting to know each other, and long phone calls. It was only this, that we were getting along so well, that overcame the fact that I think I was pretty much the complete opposite of her physical type, something that was evident even when we first met and I got a look of disappointment. Can’t think why given she’d seen many pictures of me and I hadn’t photoshopped any of them.
The Holly experience makes me want to do this my own way and that there might be people out there who appreciate my style. Literally the only thing wrong with me and Holly’s relationship was the bit where she left me, everything else was great…
The other thing I struggle with is finding things to ask people. “So … I see from your profile, your health is the most important thing in your life. Cool… So, how did you get into that then? Who introduced you to health?” or “I see you like walking. That’s really interesting. I sometimes walk. I learned when I was little. Are you really good at it then?” I’m fucking terrible at smalltalk, and even over e-mail I worry that my awkwardness will come across. I’m constantly tempted to say “OK can you quickly tell me something about you because I have a great story about a Polish girl who pissed herself lined up.”
It’s a shame because I’m genuinely good at dates I think, girls always have a great time. No girl has ever had a bad date with me, and I can tell you, sometimes a lot of fucking effort was required on my part. I used to date this girl Nikki, she had been at the table next to mine in a pub and I was out on a non-date with my colleague Heather, and I told a fantastic blowjob story, and Nikki overheard, and we joined her table with her friends, mostly male, who I did a very good job of entertaining. We dated for quite a while without it ever going any further. She always had a great time with me, but she kept banging on about how much she liked rugby and how she usually goes for rugby players and guys who watch rugby and look like the type who play rugby and know about rugby.
Our dating fizzled out, and she eventually hooked up with one of her male friends who liked rugby. I know this because I texted her some months later asking if she wanted to go for a drink to catch up. She said she was seeing someone and it wouldn’t be appropriate. I said it would be just as friends and reminded her that despite the fact we’d “dated” we never actually went any further. She reiterated it wouldn’t be appropriate. I took exception to this. It annoyed me. And so, several years later, when I went for lunch with a colleague from work who was very skinny and attractive and popular with the boys, and we walked into a restaurant and saw Nikki there with one of her cronies, I took great pleasure in sitting as close to her as I could and flirting like mad with my friend.
We weren’t close enough to hear anything Nikki was saying but she was probably talking about her boyfriend. “Oh he’s so amazingly interested in rugby, and he plays for a local side, and he’s built like a rugby player and he’s got these bit rugby player arms, and he beats me and beats me and beats me and then we make-up and watch rugby together because all that matters is he likes rugby and looks like a rugby player.”
Yes, I get irritated by people who have a very narrow and specific view on the kind of person they want to be with.
What’s that? You don’t give a fuck about my relationship stories, you just came here for more of the eHarmony questions? OK fair enough, here are the rest and I completed a few more questions tonight just for you: